Republicans in the Kansas congressional delegation praised Friday the decision by President Donald Trump to order the killing of Iran's leading intelligence and security commander in retaliation for past attacks on Americans and to undermine plans for future violence.
Drones launched the strike at the Baghdad international airport in Iraq killing Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, who led the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.
Retiring U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., said he was grateful the Trump administration, U.S. military and intelligence community collaborated to act against what he considered a major threat in the Middle East.
"Qassem Soleimani was a brutal terrorist responsible for killing hundreds of our brave servicemen and women in the Middle East," Roberts said.
The delegation's lone Democrat, U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, said Soleimani was guilty of atrocious crimes against American troops and innocent people, but the general's death would "further destabilize an already dangerous region and put more American and civilian lives at risk."
"The American people deserve to know that this administration has a strategy for how to deal with the aftermath of this major escalation," Davids said.
U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran described Soleimani as a terrorist responsible for thousands of deaths in the region. He said the threat from Iran remained significant and it was imperative to ensure safety of Americans in Iraq and elsewhere.
"This strike was based on intelligence indicating an imminent threat to American lives, and I applaud the work of our brave service members and intelligence officers in carrying out this mission," Moran said.
The president was "completely and totally justified" in carrying out the strike against Soleimani, said U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall, the 1st District congressman seeking the GOP nomination for Roberts' seat in the Senate. He contrasted Trump's use of military firepower against Iran with policies embraced by President Barack Obama.
"This president is a decisive leader who puts America’s interests and her people first, not last," Marshall said. "Instead of billions in cash payments, this administration will not bend the knee to thugs."
Susan Wagle, the Kansas Senate president and a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, defended Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for answering countless acts of provocation by the Iranians and the threat of new violence.
U.S. Rep. Steve Watkins, seeking re-election in the 2nd District of eastern Kansas, said his service in the U.S. Army demonstrated the best way to deal with Iran was with "a proportionate response and the re-establishment of deterrence."
"For years," Watkins said, "Iran did not see the United States as a credible threat because under President Obama — we weren’t."